South Africa’s women’s football team, known as Banyana Banyana, are in turmoil ahead of the World Cup due to be held in Australia and New Zealand later this month.
On Sunday, the players boycotted a warm-up match against neighbouring Botswana to show their dissatisfaction.
Banyana Banyana are one of Africa’s top teams having won the Africa Cup of Nations last year.
Unequal pay, salary disputes and anger over bonus agreements are the main reasons for the long-standing clash between South Africa’s most successful national football team and the country’s football association, Safa.
Football’s world governing body Fifa announced an incentive of $30,000 (£24,000) for world cup-bound players.
The South African team asked for written assurances that they would get the money but that hasn’t been forthcoming.
Instead, the players were allegedly told they could leave the camp over the disagreement. Frantic calls were then made by officials to put together a make-shift squad to rescue the friendly match against Botswana and avoid a fine.
The ill-prepared team, which included a 13-year-old, suffered an embarrassing 5-0 loss against a team ranked 96 places below the South Africans.
“Instead of Safa resolving the matter, Safa has been calling clubs and perpetuating poverty, poor and unworkable conditions… the ladies are resolute and we’re in support of them,” the ehad of the players’ union Thulaganyo Gaoshubulwe said.
Safa has told the BBC that negotiations with the team are still going on.